Stay updated on advancements in mechanical components and mechatronics systems. New technologies in MEMs, fluid systems, and propulsion are driving breakthroughs in transportation, electrification, autonomous driving, and manufacturing.

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Shape Memory Composite Hybrid Hinge

There are two conventional types of hinges for in-space deployment applications. The first type is mechanically deploying hinges. A typical mechanically deploying hinge is usually composed of several tens...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Ultra-Compact Motor Controller

This invention is an electronically commutated brushless motor controller that incorporates Hall-array sensing in a small, 42-gram package that provides 4096 absolute counts per motor revolution position sensing. The unit is the size of a miniature hockey puck, and is a 44-pin male connector that provides many I/O...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Binding Causes of Printed Wiring Assemblies With Card-Loks

A document discusses a study that presents the first documented extraction loads, both nominal and worstcase, and presents the first comprehensive evaluation of extraction techniques, methodologies, and tool requirements relating to extracting printed wiring assemblies (PWAs) with...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
A Reversible Thermally Driven Pump for Use in a Sub-Kelvin Magnetic Refrigerator

A document describes a continuous magnetic refrigerator that is suited for cooling astrophysics detectors. This refrigerator has the potential to provide efficient, continuous cooling to temperatures below 50 mK for detectors, and has the benefits over existing...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Coring Sample Acquisition Tool

A sample acquisition tool (SAT) has been developed that can be used autonomously to sample drill and capture rock cores. The tool is designed to accommodate core transfer using a sample tube to the IMSAH (integrated Mars sample acquisition and handling) SHEC (sample handling, encapsulation, and containerization)...

The NASA-sponsored space exploration project, PICTURE (Planet Imaging Concept Testbed Using a Rocket Experiment), seeks to obtain a direct image of an extra-solar...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Focal Plane Alignment Utilizing Optical CMM

In many applications, an optical detector has to be located relative to mechanical reference points. One solution is to specify stringent requirements on (1) mounting the optical detector relative...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Robust Tensioned Kevlar Suspension Design

One common but challenging problem in cryogenic engineering is to produce a mount that has excellent thermal isolation but is also rigid. Such mounts can be achieved by suspending the load from a network of fibers or strings held in tension. Kevlar fibers are often used for this purpose owing to their...

Articles: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Think Outside the Chip: MEMS-Based Systems Solutions

MEMS is an acronym for Microelectro mechanical Systems; however, most MEMS implementations to date have not been systems at all, but rather devices. This article reports the constituents...

Articles: Green Design & Manufacturing
Organic Photovoltaics - Forecasts for the Next Decade

Today there are multiple devices available for harnessing solar energy. Each device offers a different set of characteristics. Wafer-based devices consist of mono or...

Tune in for a live webcast from the U.S. Department of Energy on June 19th, from 12-1 p.m. EDT. Electrocatalysts developed by Brookhaven National Laboratory's (BNL) scientists use...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Long-Life, Lightweight, Multi-Roller Traction Drives for Planetary Vehicle Surface Exploration

NASA’s initiative for Lunar and Martian exploration will require long lived, robust drive systems for manned vehicles that must operate in hostile environments. The operation of these mechanical drives will pose a problem because of the existing...

A series of free-mass designs for the ultrasonic/sonic driller/corer (USDC) has been developed to maximize the transfer of energy from the piezoelectric transducer through the...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Wavefront Compensation Segmented Mirror Sensing and Control

The primary mirror of very large submillimeter-wave telescopes will necessarily be segmented into many separate mirror panels. These panels must be continuously co-phased to keep the telescope wavefront error less than a small fraction of a wavelength, to ten microns RMS (root mean...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Dual-Compartment Inflatable Suitlock

A paper discusses a dual-compartment inflatable suitlock (DCIS) for Extra-vehicular Activity (EVA) that will allow for dust control, suit maintenance, and efficient EVA egress/ingress. The expandable (inflatable technologies) aspect of the design will allow the unit to stow in a compact package for...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Thermodynamic Vent System for an On-Orbit Cryogenic Reaction Control Engine

A report discusses a cryogenic reaction control system (RCS) that integrates a Joule-Thompson (JT) device (expansion valve) and thermodynamic vent system (TVS) with a cryogenic distribution system to allow fine control of the propellant quality (subcooled liquid) during...

News: Energy
Develop Wireless Chargers for Electric Vehicles

The U.S Department of Energy has recently announced up to $4 million available this year to accelerate the development and deployment of wireless charging systems for light-duty electric vehicles (EVs).

Making use of the force generated by magnetic repulsion, Georgia Tech researchers have developed a new technique for measuring the adhesion strength between thin films of...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Stemless Ball Valve

This invention utilizes a new method of opening and closing a ball valve. Instead of rotating the ball with a perpendicular stem (as is the case with standard ball valves), the ball is rotated around a fixed axis by two...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Floating Oil-Spill Containment Device

Previous oil containment booms have an open top that allows natural gas to escape, and have significant oil leakage due to wave action. Also, a subsea pyramid oil trap exists, but cannot move relative to...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Static Gas-Charging Plug

A gas-charging plug can be easily analyzed for random vibration. The design features two steeped O-rings in a radial configuration at two different diameters, with a 0.050-in. (≈1.3-mm) diameter through-hole between the two O-rings. In the charging state, the top O-ring is engaged and sealing. The bottom O-ring outer...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Low-Cost, Rugged High-Vacuum System

A need exists for miniaturized, rugged, low-cost high-vacuum systems. Recent advances in sensor technology have led to the development of very small mass spectrometer detectors as well as other analytical instruments such as scanning electron microscopes. However, the vacuum systems to support these sensors...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Instrument Package Manipulation Through the Generation and Use of an Attenuated-Fluent Gas Fold

This document discusses a technique that provides a means for suspending large, awkward loads, instrument packages, components, and machinery in a stable, controlled, and precise manner. In the baseplate of the test machine, a pattern of grooves and...

To be able to conduct science investigations on highly sloped and challenging terrains, it is necessary to deploy science payloads to such locations and collect and process in...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Site Tamper and Material Plow Tool — STAMP

A non-actuated tool has been developed for preparing regolith for in situ measurement by smoothing uneven surfaces and excavating fresher subsurface material for planetary exploration. The STAMP...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Magnetic Interface for Segmented Mirror Assembly

Newly developed magnetic devices are used to create an interface between adjacent mirror segments so that once assembled, aligned, and phased, the multiple segments will behave functionally equivalent to a monolithic aperture mirror. One embodiment might be a kinematic interface that is reversible...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Transpiration-Cooled Spacecraft-Insulation-Repair Fasteners

Transpiration-cooled fasteners are proposed that operate like an open-loop heat pipe (self-tapping screws, bolts, and spikes) for use in on-orbit repair of thermal-insulation of a space shuttle or other spacecraft. By limiting the temperature rise of such a fastener and of the adjacent...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Implementation of a Non-Metallic Barrier in an Electric Motor

Electric motors that run in pure oxygen must be sealed, or “canned,” for safety reasons to prevent the oxygen from entering into the electrical portion of the motor. The current canning process involves designing a metallic barrier around the rotor to provide the separation. This...

The addition of the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG) to the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Rover requires an...

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